By:  Danielle Douglas-Gabriel
Source: The Washington Post

House panel says nonprofit Everglades College enriches its owner

A House Education Committee probe into Everglades College Inc., the parent entity of Keiser University and Everglades University, alleges school president Arthur Keiser and other insiders have received millions of dollars from the two Florida universities in violation of Education Department rules.

The findings add to Democrats’ concerns that former for-profit colleges are masquerading as nonprofits to avoid regulation while still reaping the financial benefits of operating as proprietary institutions.

Everglades College, a nonprofit formed by Arthur Keiser, purchased the namesake for-profit university in 2011 with his own money. Keiser, who has received payments and interest on the $321 million he lent, is still owed about $60 million, according to 2019 tax filings.

He and his family still own parts of the properties the school rents and the companies it uses for an array of services, including air travel, roofing, recruitment and legal needs. According to 2019 tax filings, Everglades College paid these Keiser-related businesses nearly $8.9 million, including $1.4 million for charter aircraft and travel.

“The owner and the owner’s family, substantially benefit from the earnings of the institution in violation of the principles of what makes an institution a nonprofit,” House Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.), the chair of the Education Committee, wrote in a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona Monday.